Racer vs Driver

MadCow809

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So in your opinion, who are the best racers you've ever seen? And who are the best drivers in your book?

A racer should take all sort of risks, fight till the last second, create possible overtaking opportunity by taking in risks, pushing the boundaries and the limit of the car at all time. Think Colin McRae, or any racing driver that is a little bit silly(flamboyant) and just want to go balls to the wall without thinking about the consequences.

Whereas a driver is someone who has enourmous car control skill, but preserved only for the right moment and opportunity. Someone whose aim is to win the championship and deliver the best possible result without any risks involved. Think Alain Prost and Seb Loeb. Cool, calm and collected, the percentage gamer.


So here some of my fav drivers & racers, I really can't put them in order so here it goes (in no particular order):


Racer : Nigel Mansell, Colin McRae, Michael Schumacher, Gilles Villeneuve

Driver : Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Jim Clark
 
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Karoug

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Racer: Valentino Rossi

Rider: Valentino Rossi

That was a short list.. :p
 

vikiradTG2007

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Wow... Really tough to decide on something like this. All I can think of now is that the purest racers that will have ever existed, in my opinion, the most balls-out drivers and the most naturally talented, in my opinion, are Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson.
 

MadCow809

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Wow... Really tough to decide on something like this. All I can think of now is that the purest racers that will have ever existed, in my opinion, the most balls-out drivers and the most naturally talented, in my opinion, are Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson.

we all agree that Gilles Villeneuve was a brilliant racer.

What about your favourite "driver"?
 

motogpboy

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Best racers: Gilles Villeneuve, Rossi, Senna (for taking do or die chances :p), Andrea de Cesaris..ok just kidding.

Best drivers: Walter R?hrl, Sebastien Loeb, Alain Prost (I read a recollection of him in a book about a qualifying time at Spa... the person quoted was watching I think it was Mansell at Eau Rouge and he was all over the place and it LOOKED fast... then Prost came by and the observer thought Prost was going extremely slow...turns out that was the lap he took pole with)
 
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MadCow809

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Ah, I left out Walter R?hl.

Amazing driver with massive car control skills. Remember 1992, at the 24hr Nordschleife Race, where the race was slowed down by fog and heavy rain. Walter hardly slowed down, his experience of the ring allowed him to time the corners, despite driving in a horrendous condition.

Top driver.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Best Driver: Ari Vatenan, Stirling Moss, Tazio Nuvolari, Bernd Rosemeyer, Ayrton Senna, Jackie Stewart

Best Racer: Tom Kristensen, Fernando Alonso, Stirling Moss, Dan Gurney, Kimi Raikkonen

Some obviously can transcend into both, but those are the ones I think of. I also disagree with the definitions in the OP. I think a good driver can also be daring and make some pretty insane decisions as well, with their talent carrying them through (Senna, Nuvolari esp)
 
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fluke667

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Best Driver: Michael Schumacher, Walter R?hrl, Sebastian Loeb

Best Racer: Valentino Rossi

...and i can't think of a more impressive career start than Sebastian Vettel (and that includes MS)
 
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Eunos_Cosmo

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Best Driver: Michael Schumacher, Walter R?hrl, Sebastian Loeb

Best Racer: Valentino Rossi

...and i can't think of a more impressive career start than Sebastian Vettel (and that includes MS)

Hamilton? :lol:
 

maxorido

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He was sponsored by McLaren (and pushed by his dad) since he was 13 and was testing F1 cars for years before he started in F1. That's less impressive in my book.

Excuse me, but you're wrong. Lewis didn't do a proper test in the Mclaren until the end of 2006. Earlier in the year he had done some straight line tests, but nothing serious until the end of 06 after he won the GP2 championship. You can look this up if you like, hell this was made quite clear during his GP2 season.
 

Steve Levin

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I've thought about this, and I think you're trying to split a hair a bit too finely here. The legendary drivers who did very well in their careers had both the massive car control, and the mental control to repeat it, over and over.

Gilles Villenueve is a great example of someone that could not consistently handle his car. There were indeed spectacular drives, but there were also spectacular mistakes in his drives. The reality was, he got more out of a car simply because he was willing to accept a higher level of mistakes. It makes for wonderful watching, and a true character -- but ultimately not greatness.

Jackie Stewart exists in the reverse -- you never saw the big, flamboyant driving moments, but you saw so very few mistakes. That's why at the end of the race, he would win -- because his total time around the track in all the laps was less than anyone else. Mario Andretti was another driver that simply didn't make you go "wow!" but where did he finish most days? Up at or very near the front.

It was that very quality of being able to drive within oneself that kept Mario so competitive for so long. (Jackie Stewart would have also had a long career, I believe, if he had gone down that road).

So this is a long way of saying that I consider the ability to do it over and over again to be the true measure of car control, and that generally becomes synonymous with success.

I also think it's hard to pick five names from all time. Stewart, Andretti, Foyt, Schumacher, and Mears would be the five I've chosen (but obviously tempered by being near my historical era).

Steve
 

MadCat360

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Steve hit it on the head, but I think there's more to it.

In my mind, a racer is someone who goes for the win, sees the race, and goes for it. He's in it to win. A professional. A racecar driver.

A driver, to me, is someone who is intimately interested in being fast, but not motivated to win. A sportsman. A man who drives racing cars.

Drivers, generally, do not win without being a racer as well. Racers, usually, do not win without being superb drivers. I've watched many young drivers grow, including myself, and I can say that with utmost certainty.

The ideal winner, or legend, is a combination of both parts which then exceeds the sum, and there is a perceptible happy medium. In my mind, being able to say one way or another using my definitions, simply means that person is unlikely to become a star without refinement. You need the complete package to be truly successful. You can see that balance in any past champion of almost any professional racing series.
 

vikiradTG2007

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While reading "Inside the Mind of the Grand Prix Driver", I came across this...

Spa, second qualifying, 14 September 1985

Lauda, partnering Prost at McLaren, crashed on the Friday morning injuring his wrist and withdrew from the meeting. Thus, Lauda's engineer, Steve Nichols, was now free to go down to Eau Rouge for second qualifying. He found a good vantage point which proved to be out of earshot of the loudspeakers. He watched as the drivers went through and up the hill.

The driver who impressed him was Mansell, the Williams "twitching this way and that, his arms a blur, a shower of sparks from under the car". Mansell was on his way to 1:57.465.

Nichols watched as Prost came through on a warm-up lap, smooth and slow because he wasn't stretching the car. Nichols waited for Prost to burst by on the fast lap but instead came smoothly and slowly through again. He immediately deduced that Prost had had a problem and was on another warm-up lap, "neat and tidy, no fuss". Nichols waited and Prost came smoothly and slowly through a third time, obviously, Nichols deduced, on a slowing-down lap. He walked back to the pits to see what the problem had been.

That second lap had been a 1:55.306 = pole-position.
 

vikiradTG2007

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Read my post earlier in the thread :p

:lol: Oops.

Anyway, the book then described quali from Monaco '88. Prost did 6 laps and moved from a 1:27.9 to a 1:27.5 in that run.

Senna put in a 1:27.0, then went on an other-worldly sequence of 6 laps, in sequence of slow lap to regain breath - fast lap.

First fast lap in that sequence was a 1:25.592. Second lap... a 1:24.439. And then, after a 1:37.323 cool-down lap, came the blow that finished off Prost.

1:23.998.

It took Prost 25 laps to get down to a time that was 1.4 seconds slower.
 
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